Thursday, July 08, 2010

Can I back out of my new job if I get a better offer?

Can I back out of my new job if I get a better offer?

I recently accepted an offer with an organization and started this past week. Four days into it, another potential employer I'd interviewed with once (at the same time I interviewed for my new job) has asked me to talk with them a second time. While I like the job I just started (and the employer), I would love the other position more - it feels more closely aligned with my interests and values, and it is 20 miles closer to home.
response from Alison Green:
There are very few cases where I'd advise even considering taking a different job right after starting a new one, because doing so can harm your employer, your reputation, and even other job-seekers.

I don't see a significant problem with leaving. Alison Green has a great blog I just disagree with her on this question, but the points she makes are probably shared by far more people than share my views on this topic. There are costs to others and yourself, and risks to you and others. But that is part of business.

I have had candidates (that we offered but hadn't actually started yet) and new hires leave and seen other people think this is bad or unfair. I tell people to expect a higher level of turnover precisely because they were looking for jobs and the offers might not all come at the same time.

The world isn't all perfectly fair, sometimes you lose for no good reason. I don't see any reason to worry about it.

Also if you do a great job of showing people how great it is to work at your place then they probably wouldn't leave. Focus on that, not being mad at them.

But yes, if you do this, some of the people at the company you leave will probably be mad.

I do tend to take unconventional views. I like Zappos paying new employees to quit more than the idea of intimidating employees to stay because it is unfair to leave.

I would weigh the costs, myself. And the judgement would not just be what is best for me. The costs to others would definitely be a factor in trying to decide what was acceptable and what was the right decision.

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